Sunday, April 10, 2016

Power of Rasmus, White carries Astros to W

 Colby Rasmus cranked his first two home runs of the season, going back to back with red-hot rookie Tyler White in the fifth inning, as the Astros snapped a three-game losing streak with a 6-4 win over the Brewers on Saturday night at Miller Park.
The Astros loaded the bases with no outs in the first inning against Brewers starter Wily Peralta (0-2) and took a 2-0 lead on sacrifice flies by Rasmus and White. Rasmus' first homer of the season, in the third inning, made it 3-0, and Rasmus and White bashed tape-measure homers in the fifth to make it 6-1.
"They were pretty good," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said of the Rasmus-White combo. "We hit the long ball, but the quality of at-bats really throughout the middle of the order was pretty exceptional. Three, four, five putting up that kind of quality at-bats, it's a difficult three-some to get through, and we showed it tonight."
Doug Fister, making his first start for the Astros, allowed three runs, five hits and struck out six batters in five innings. Homers by Scooter Gennett in the fifth off Fister and Kirk Nieuwenhuis in the sixth off Pat Neshek got the Brewers to within 6-4.
Colby Jack is back: Rasmus, who hit a career-high 25 home runs last season, needed five games to hit his first homer of the year when he hit a solo shot in the third, and he added a two-run blast in the fifth. It was his eighth career multihomer game. More >
"It just felt good to get us flowing good and to get up on those guys and get us a W," Rasmus said. "We needed to win that game."
Rough start: Peralta's struggles continued Saturday, as he was unable to make it through the fifth inning for the second time this season. The right-hander was tagged for six runs on seven hits with four walks, and he allowed back-to-back home runs before being pulled with one out in the fifth inning. Peralta, Milwaukee's Opening Day starter, has allowed 10 earned runs over 8 1/3 innings this year. More >
"I'm having a tough time locating my pitches," Peralta said. "I'm leaving pitches in the middle of the plate. That's all. I just have to make a little adjustment in my [bullpen session] between starts and go out there and execute. That's all."
Fister rights the ship: Fister's debut with the Astros certainly wasn't dominating, but he was good enough to be the first starter since Dallas Keuchel on Opening Day to win a game. Astros starters were 0-2 with a 13.50 ERA in the three games prior to Saturday following Keuchel's season debut. More >
"You always want to build upon the last guy," Fister said. "That's what good teams do. It doesn't matter whether we're 10-0 or 0-10, you're going out there and giving it your all. We want to win every day."
Late rally: Down to their final out, the Brewers brought the winning run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth. Yadiel Rivera started things with a single, while Jonathan Villar drew a seven-pitch walk. However, Astros closer Luke Gregerson got Domingo Santana to ground out to shortstop to end the game.
"I thought the last half of the game we did a great job," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "We battled, we put pressure on them. The bullpen was outstanding. We pieced it together and got through the last 4 2/3 [innings] and we gave ourselves a chance in the ninth."
"It's no secret those first few games here we've had a little hiccup in the pitching department, but I don't think anybody was worried about us. It was a matter of time before everything started clicking back together, and tonight was a good start." -- Gregerson, who got his second save
White became the first Astros player to have three home runs in his first five career games.More >
Astros: Reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Keuchel makes his second start of the season in Sunday's 1:10 p.m. CT series finale at Miller Park. Keuchel faced the Brewers three times in his rookie season of 2012, going 0-2 with an 11.68 ERA.
Brewers: After finding himself on the losing end of a pitchers' duel in his season debut,Jimmy Nelson will take the ball for the Brewers in the series finale against the Astros on Sunday. Nelson held the Giants to two runs over 7 1/3 innings on Tuesday.

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